03 Dec 2018
EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 03 DECEMBERBrussels Daily
Publication of latest agri-food trade figures: EU trade surplus still strong
The latest monthly agri-food trade report published today shows that the EU maintained a monthly agri-food trade surplus of €2.2 billion in September 2018 in spite of a modest decline in export values of 6% compared with September 2017. The highest increases in monthly export values (September 2018 compared to September 2017) were recorded for Egypt (an increase €61 million), Algeria (up €34 million) and South Korea (a gain of €26 million). In contrast, exports to China dropped significantly (by €131 million). There were also drops in exports to both Hong Kong and Turkey. While there was an increase in exports for feed and feed ingredients and for preparations of vegetables, fruit and nuts, exports of raw hides, fur skins, wheat and other cereals experienced decreases. Imports from Brazil, the USA, Russia and Ukraine performed particularly well. Looking at the last 12 months from October 2017 to September 2017, agri-food export surplus remains at €21 billion. Wine, sugar, spirits and liqueurs are sectors that keep exporting significant quantities and values. The monthly report provides a table presenting the trade balance and its development by product category from October 2016 to September 2018
Eurogroup and ECOFIN meetings, 3 and 4 December 2018 Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Moscovici will represent the Commission at today’s Eurogroup meeting. Ministers will discuss the Opinions adopted by the Commission on the Draft Budgetary Plans of euro area Member States. The Commission will present the first report for Greece under the enhanced surveillance framework that was put in place following the conclusion of the European Stability Mechanism stability support programme. The Commission and the European Central Bank will present the main findings of the tenth post-programme surveillance mission to Spain and the fifth post-programme surveillance mission to Cyprus. The International Monetary Fund will present the main findings from its euro area Article IV interim mission. The Eurogroup will then continue in an inclusive format to discuss the state of play of the ongoing work on the deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), including the completion of the Banking Union, ahead of the Euro Summit on 14 December. Commissioner Moscovici will participate in the press conference following the meeting. At tomorrow’s ECOFIN meeting, the Commission will again be represented by Vice-President Dombrovskis and Commissioner Moscovici. Ministers will debate the final compromise text of the digital services tax the Commission proposed this March as part of a wider effort to address gaps in the taxation of the digital economy. Following the discussion on the deepening of the European Monetary Union at the Eurogroup the day before, ministers will take note of progress in completing the Banking Union, in particular concerning the European Deposit Insurance Scheme. In this context, Ministers are expected to endorse the result of the informal trilogue negotiation on key risk reduction measures of the banking package. The Commission will then present the latest, encouraging data on the reduction of non-performing loans (NPLs) in the EU banking sector and will report on its successful delivery of all the initiatives mandated by the Council’s July 2017 action plan on tackling NPLs. Following the publication of itsCommunicationlast week, the Commission will also renew its calls for more intensive political engagement on the key building blocks of the Capital Markets Union (CMU) ahead of the European elections next May. The Council is due to adopt conclusions setting out an action plan on anti-money laundering, which will present a number of short-term actions. Finally, ministers will be called on to formally adopt without discussion new rules to improve the day-to-day running of the EU’s VAT system. A press conference with Vice-President Dombrovskis will follow the meeting.
UN climate conference in Katowice: EU aims for adoption of rules for implementing Paris Agreement
This year’s UN climate conference will be a key moment for implementation of the Paris Agreement, with Parties aiming to finalise detailed rules that will enable the landmark accord to be put into practice across the world. The 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change– ‘COP24′ – is taking place from 3-14 December in Katowice, Poland, presided over by the Polish government. It will bring together ministers and government officials, as well as a wide range of stakeholder representatives. The Vice-President for Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič will be representing the Commission today at the high level opening ceremony. Just last week, the Commission presented a strategic vision on how the EU could achieve climate neutrality by 2050. This stands us in a good stead to enter the negotiations, which start at political level next week. The EU will be represented at the negotiations by the chief climate negotiator Miguel Arias Cañete and Elisabeth Köstinger, Minister for Sustainability and Tourism of Austria, which currently holds the EU Council Presidency. The Questions and Answers are available online in EN